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2015 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Saddles

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The draw: Great for female riders

Quickly becoming a favorite of many men and women triathletes and road riders, the Cobb JOF 55 is reminiscent of ISM Adamo saddles. The saddle has similar thick tongs on the nose, but it also features several notable differences as well—a slightly narrower platform, a wider rear section and a less flexible chassis. This saddle has proven to work especially well for women, both on tri and road bikes.
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The draw: Options, options, options

This Italian manufacturer has had great success with its road saddles, and this model builds on the company’s already successful design. Testing revealed that these saddles work best for athletes adopting an aero position on their road bike, particularly women, thanks to the relatively wide rear section. The saddle was not a big hit for male or female athletes on triathlon bikes however—”nose riding” this saddle, as is often done on a triathlon bike, was not very comfortable. It is available in several different widths and with various levels of padding.
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The draw: Affordable comfort

The ISM PN 1.1 is similar to the very popular ISM Attack, but with softer cushioning, steel rails and a price tag that’s $100 lighter. Many riders new to noseless saddles struggle with its firmness, and this saddle is the answer to that complaint. Its nose is noticeably softer and makes for a more comfortable break-in period. The PN 1.1 is the most slender model from ISM, allowing riders to shift fore and aft with greater inner thigh clearance.
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The draw: No-risk saddle purchase

Dash has become known for its beautifully minimalistic designs that are über-light but costly. The Strike adds a little weight compared to
other Dash saddles but also costs $165 less. Its rear section is relatively wide, which provides more support when upright. These saddles work well for stronger athletes who do not require much cushioning. The saddle rails are long so you can fine-tune your saddle position.

The draw: Narrowest split-nose saddle

Pro’s debut in the triathlon saddle market is a fine offering. The nose is among the narrowest of the split saddles at only about 50mm wide. This should minimize one of the main complaints of split-nose saddles: inner thigh chafing. Male and female testers were both able to find comfortable positions on the AeroFuel TT. The only complaint is that the saddle rails are rather short, limiting fore-aft adjustability.